K-PAX parents guide

K-PAX Parent Guide

His he an alien or is he just crazy?

Overall B+

After Prot (Kevin Spacey) claims to be a visitor from the planet K-PAX, he's shuffled off to the Psychiatric Institute in Manhattan. There he's handed over to Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) after failing to respond to the usual drug therapy.

Release date October 26, 2001

Violence C-
Sexual Content C
Profanity C-
Substance Use B

Why is K-PAX rated PG-13? The MPAA rated K-PAX PG-13

Run Time: 130 minutes

Parent Movie Review

SHORTLY AFTER HIS “ARRIVAL” in New York’s Grand Central Station, Prot (Kevin Spacey) is detained by the local police. When he claims to be a visitor from the planet K-PAX, he’s shuffled off to the Psychiatric Institute in Manhattan. There he’s handed over to psychiatrist Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) after failing to respond to the usual drug therapy.

Unsure of what to expect from the character behind the dark sunglasses, the work-driven Powell is intrigued by the detailed and intelligent responses Prot offers about life on his far-flung planet. Even more baffling are the lab’s test results that outline his patient’s highly unusual abilities. But when his interactions with the personable vagrant begin to make the doctor distrust his own methods of cross-examination, Powell finds himself undertaking drastic measures to discover his case’s identity and past.

Meanwhile, this self-acclaimed alien ‘s harmless and courteous presence in the psych ward has an unusual effect on his fellow patients. As well as offering his own curative methods for their mental ills, Prot announces that one of them will accompany him home to the idyllic K-PAX. Eager to leave their sterile hospital environment, the patients jockey for the honor of being chosen and count down the days until departure.

While K-PAX attempts to explore the diverse and complicated world of a hospital psychiatric floor, some may find the portrayals of mental health patients a bit too glossy for reality. Parents should also be aware of the language in this film, which includes the use of an extreme sexual expletive. Teens and children may also be disturbed by a sequence of shots showing the bloody bodies of murder and rape victims, and the killing of another character.

On the other hand, K-PAX offers a (usually) gentle outsider’s view on our human interactions, sprinkled with occasional humor. For families with older teens, the movie may spark discussions about the people trapped behind the mask of mental illness and offer an opportunity for greater understanding. It also reminds us of the need to foster family relationships while we inhabit our own little globe in the universe.

Directed by Iain Softley. Starring Kevin Spacey Jeff Bridges. Running time: 130 minutes. Theatrical release October 26, 2001. Updated

K-PAX Parents' Guide

Why does Mrs. Powell find it easier to talk about her marriage to Prot than her husband? Is it because he is “a locked-up lunatic” or because he appears to be a compassionate listener? What qualities does Prot have that make him so approachable?

Would our society be different if people chose to do what was right like they do on the planet K-PAX?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of K-PAX movie is March 26, 2002. Here are some details…

DVD Release Information: K=Pax

  • Studio: Universal
  • Theatrical release date: October 26, 2001
  • DVD release date: March 26, 2002
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Production company: Universal
  • Package type: Keep case
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1
  • DVD encoding: Region 1
  • Available audio tracks: English & French (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS).
  • Available subtitles: English.
DVD Extras:
  • Deleted scenes
  • Alternate ending
  • Commentary by director Ian Softley
  • Making of featurette
  • Interviews with cast and crew

Related home video titles:

Harvey presents another tale of a person with a possible deluded version of reality. For another sci-fi that claims/suggests we may not be the most intelligent things in the cosmos, check out Contact.